Top Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses - SharpSpring - Deepstash
Top Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses - SharpSpring

Top Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses - SharpSpring

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The Importance of Small Business Marketing

Paid media advertising — the bread-and-butter of big brands — can be cost-prohibitive for small businesses. Ad budgets can quickly become bloated without contributing to growth.

New small business owners often assume that paid advertising is crucial to getting customers. A few Google or Facebook ads can easily rack up thousands in ad spend per month. Unfortunately, advertising has a poor ROI compared to other forms of marketing, especially for new businesses.


192 reads

People Don’t Like Ads

Today’s consumers are averse to ads. If they’re not actively blocking them with browser plugins, they’re simply tuning them out. This isn’t to say ads never work, but for small businesses, they can be a wasted expense.

Always lead with a strong marketing strategy that reliably connects you with potential customers — even if you’re short on advertising funds for a month. Consumers don’t like to see ads, but they do enjoy gaining value.


154 reads

Building a Sustainable Small Business Marketing Strategy: Types Of Marketing

Outbound marketing entails advertising, cold-calling, and other tactics we commonly think of as “marketing.” This approach is also called interruptive marketing: the idea is that you capture consumers’ attention and create an urgency to buy from you. Outbound marketing can be quite expensive because you must purchase advertising space or pay for labour to perform outreach.

Inbound marketing is also called attraction marketing because it draws customers to you. Inbound strategies include content marketing (social media, blogs, videos, etc.), opt-in-based email lists, and earned media.


103 reads

Know Your Audience

Small businesses must start with a thorough understanding of their potential customers. What makes them tick? Once you know that, you can start promoting your business in a way that resonates with your target audience.

Ask yourself three questions:

  • What is my ideal customer’s core problem or “pain point”?
  • How does my business solve that problem?
  • Why would they choose my business over my competitors?

The answers to these questions compose your value proposition.


104 reads

Define Your Value Proposition

Your value proposition is a concise statement of what your business uniquely provides to your customers and how it benefits them. Don’t confuse this with your company’s values or mission. The value proposition defines your relationship with your customers. What can they expect from you, and why is that important to them?

Your value proposition should include your points of difference: what sets you apart from your competitors. Small businesses often find it challenging to compete on price alone.


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Choosing Your Channels

There is a wide variety of channels, both digital and physical:

  • Reddit, Quora, and other discussion-based platforms
  • Pinterest, Instagram, and other visual social media networks
  • YouTube and TikTok
  • Facebook groups.
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Medium, Vocal, Quora plus, and other content-sharing platforms
  • networking meetups and online business directories
  • physical signage e.g. billboards and marquees
  • email marketing: far from dead, this tactic boasts an incredible $42 per $1 spent. 
  • direct mail campaigns
  • chat-based marketing via Messenger and WhatsApp


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Planning Your Content

Instead of focusing on “campaigns,” think about your overall business goals and how you can turn them into sustainable efforts. More often than not, you’ll have ongoing results you want to achieve. Perhaps you want to generate at least 500 new leads per month, but you also want to increase your conversion rate for previous customers from 10% to 15%.

These goals require different tactics: perhaps a time-limited direct mail campaign for the former and more frequent email newsletters for the latter.


68 reads

SEO Tactics

  • Any ad or social post should lead to a specific page rather than your main website URL or social profile.
  • Each page and post should be optimised for your target audience’s preferred search terms and not vague search terms.
  • Keep your target audience’s buying journey in mind.


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Free Advertising Online

  • Google My Business: 34% of GMB listings get viewed more than 1,000 times per month. That’s thousands of dollars in free advertising.
  • Geotagged Instagram posts
  • Facebook pages with business address


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Return On Investment

The nice thing about paid advertising is that it’s relatively easy. Select your audience and keywords, upload your creative, and wait for results. Inbound marketing, by contrast, requires a lot more time even if it’s cheaper. You may gain a higher ROI and more revenue from high-value blogs, videos, press interviews, and so on, but those all take significantly more time than tossing together an ad.


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Boosting ROI: Social Listening

Social listening tools take the guesswork out of content creation and brand monitoring. Even the most thorough audience research can’t predict which topics, keywords, and links will resonate most with your target audience. Pay attention to these so you know how to optimise your marketing content. Some helpful platforms:

  • Answer the Public for topic ideas
  • Frase for popular content
  • Hashtagify for trending hashtags


64 reads

Boosting ROI: Marketing Automation

A marketing automation platform such as SharpSpring takes care of repetitive tasks and helps your team build stronger relationships with both leads and customers. 

Marketing automation allows you to send targeted messages depending on each lead’s origin and activity, as well as coordinate your email outreach and social content. Ideally, your marketing automation platform also integrates with a CRM to handle sales and subsequent upsells/renewals and retention.


60 reads

Boosting ROI: Content Creation

To optimise your content before it goes out to your audience, check out these helpful tools:

  • Grammarly: basic spelling/grammar check, along with tone/diction assessment, readability review, and English variations for different countries
  • Airtable: a spreadsheet-based platform that allows you to draft, collaborate on, and automate content for various channels
  • Canva: Simple graphic design with social scheduling options, easy content copying, and brand templates
  • AI: powerful transcription service to document voice conversations and convert them into reusable content


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Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is an emerging field that entails better coordination of marketing and sales teams. The idea is to share data from website analytics and social insights with sales reps, as well as CRM data and service requests with marketers. This allows a small business to better understand its customers’ life cycle, pain points, and preferences.

Your marketing automation and CRM platforms both feed into sales enablement, but you’ll also need to set up internal workflows to tweak campaigns and processes. Utilise tools like Clickup, Asana and Highspot.


46 reads

Stuff To Avoid

These marketing tactics are now considered black-hat and may run you afoul of data privacy laws, Google’s algorithms, and social platforms’ terms of use:

  • Sending unsolicited messages to purchased email lists
  • Keyword stuffing or cloaking
  • Link farming (i.e. posting your website’s URL on link-heavy pages)
  • Automated messaging or following via LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook (These platforms’ native auto-response tools and messages sent to qualified leads are okay.)
  • Follow–unfollow tactics


64 reads



The right mix of cost-efficient inbound and outbound marketing allows SMEs to grow their customer base without hurting their profits. Here are the best marketing strategies for small businesses.

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